[PATCH v2] exec: Set file unwritable before LSM check

Kees Cook keescook at chromium.org
Fri Mar 9 19:54:04 UTC 2018

On Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 11:47 AM, Linus Torvalds
<torvalds at linux-foundation.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 11:30 AM, Kees Cook <keescook at chromium.org> wrote:
>> The LSM check should happen after the file has been confirmed to be
>> unchanging. Without this, we could have a race between the Time of Check
>> (the call to security_kernel_read_file() which could read the file and
>> make access policy decisions) and the Time of Use (starting with
>> kernel_read_file()'s reading of the file contents). In theory, file
>> contents could change between the two.
> I'm going to assume I get this for 4.17 from the security tree.
> Because I'm guessing there are actually no existing users that care?
> selinux seems to just look at file state, not actually at contents or
> anything that write access denial would care about.
> And the only other security module that even registers this is
> loadpin, and again it just seems to check things like "on the right
> filesystem" that aren't actually impacted by write access (in fact,
> the documented reason is to check that it's a read-only filesystem so
> that write access is simply _irrelevant_).
> So this issue seems to be mainly a cleanliness thing, not an actual bug.

That is my assumption too (I left off the Cc: stable as a result). I'm
much less familiar with IMA, though, but it's a caller of
kernel_read_file(), not hooking it, etc.


Kees Cook
Pixel Security
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